Blackberry Belle – Rolling Stone
(RS 938/939, December 25, 2003)
As the leader of the acclaimed Nineties alt-rockers Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli was indie rock’s chief supplier of noirish love songs. With the Twilight Singers’ second album, he’s placed his transcendentally dark songwriting in a host of shadowy settings: the Whigs’ urgent post-grunge, gritty wah-wah soul and electronica-dosed psychedelia (The Dark Side of the Moon gets referenced throughout). Blackberry focuses on Dulli’s bizarro literary fixations; among other macabre subjects, he sets his sights on a vampirically carnal romance, drug addiction and his 1998 near-murder by a Texas thug. The banjo-driven grace of “Papillon” recalls the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” while “Teenage Wristband” hot-wires “Jungleland” with “Baba O’Riley.” This is old-school album rock, each fragment linking to tell a story, every nuance begging to be savored.